It’s been way too long in making this happen, readers. For anyone who has been sitting on the edge of her/his seat waiting to see the results of the basement bathroom reno, I hope your legs haven’t gone to sleep from your awkward perch. But fear not! Shake the pins and needles from your numb feet! It’s actually done. For realsies.

This journey started a million months ago in the winter, where we were thinking it would be a 6 week job, accounting for Simon’s other full-time commitments and the fact that he works in fits and starts. If you times that number by MONTHS instead of weeks, and add two months for good measure, that would be the total time for this project. Eight freaking months.

I powered through the finishing touches yesterday, because I was tired of it sitting there looking half done. Full disclosure: there are still one or two finishing finishing touches to knock off, but it is done, functional, and looks awesome.

No more dithering, Victoria, get to the reveal!

Bathroom: done.

Yesterday morning, it was mostly there, but had a few patches where Simon had re-mudded some areas of the wall. I primed and painted those areas, applied two coats of semi-gloss white to the door frame and the window frame, and forced Dan to join me on a drive around town to find a toilet paper stand, soap dish, and garbage can. I also got around to frosting the windows with the peel and stick film the previous owners left us. I could have done this job weeks ago, but I just didn’t.

To get the full effect, let’s explore the details.

The vanityThe vanity has been in place and functioning with hot water and such for months now, it was hooked up very shortly after our new tankless water heater was installed in May.

The mirror was a flea market find from the beginning of the summer ($15, y’all!)

Flea market mirrorWe originally planned to spray paint the frame a different colour, but the gold has really grown on me. Leaving the frame as it is was firmly cemented in our minds when we came across this little beauty two days ago:

Octopus towel hookThis octopus hook came from my new favourite store in downtown Galt, The Art of Home. They only had this cast iron hook in the gold finish, and it was a lovely match to the frame on the mirror just as it is. Decision made.

As soon as the sink was functional and we could use the bathroom for taking care of business (read: poopin’), I threw a bar of soap next to the sink, which I received as a free sample at a tradeshow. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but crafty shows and indy shops have EXPLODED with artisan handmade soaps. They make me want to buy all the soaps, but I’ve never been one for bar soaps in my life. Bar soap always leaves that gunky build-up on the counter if it isn’t in a dish, and if it is in a dish, it’s sitting in its own filthy puddle and the bar gets mushy. But I want to love bar soap. It’s shoved in my face everywhere, and I want to use it. A solution was found, also at this tradeshow I attended. A cute company selling bars of soaps and other lotions, the Wild Prairie Soap Company, has a perfect solution. A soap dish made of small pebbles stuck together, so the water can drain away from the soap and it won’t be sitting in a puddle of its own filthy water. Genius. I wanted to buy one at the tradeshow, but they don’t do that, so I looked on their website and balked at having to pay $12 for shipping (the soap dish only cost $18). At Dan’s suggestion, I looked for a store locally that carries products from Wild Prairie Soap, and yesterday we made a zip out to The Living Outdoors in Cambridge to cross our fingers and hope they had one of this dishes in the right shade. Bingo!

The perfect soap dishSo far so good on the draining, and when it gets gunky with soap film, you just scrub it with an old toothbrush. Easy. My fancy bar of soap is courtesy of The Perth Soap Company.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find your perfect toilet paper holder. I never would have guessed this would be a challenge for us. I scoured the internet this weekend for ideas on free standing toilet paper holders (we might one day wall paper the end wall and it seems easier to not have something mounted to the wall). Let me save you a step. They’re all the same, and they are wildly expensive considering what they are. I didn’t love any of them, and Dan was outraged that they cost $50. I thought maybe it was the website I was looking at, so we set out to Bed Bath and Beyond, Solutions, and Rona to find something we liked. We didn’t like anything. I don’t know what we had in mind, but nothing was speaking to us. We ultimately settled on this one. It does the job.

Toilet paper holderAnd I frosted the windows! No longer can I only use the toilet during the day when peeping eyes can’t see into my house! Dan doesn’t understand this concern, but I can tell you I have been peeing in the dark in the bathroom for the last 3 months because our bathroom window was crystal clear.

The peel and stick stuff was great. I cut a piece to the size of the window, fought with it to remove the backing, and stuck it on the window. I smoothed out the air bubbles with a putty knife wrap in a cloth, and used an exacto knife to trim any overhang. I’m sure there are still some bubbles in it, but I think it looks great. And bonus! It was FREE since the previous owners left a full roll of it in the basement.

Ahhhh! Privacy.Not sure how it will react in the winter, I’m thinking it might crack or the edges could come away from the window. I’m totally fine redoing it every year if I have to, since the process took 20 minutes and the rolls are cheap.

So how much did it cost to put in a bathroom in the basement, mostly from scratch? You may recall that the plumbing for a bathroom was already there, just capped off when we moved in. We hired Simon to do just about everything in this room, except for painting and final touches. That means he created walls, made the plumbing connect to the rest of the water supply, created outlets and a light connection, drywalled, mudded, installed our toilet and vanity, installed a ceiling and a light fixture, and added a door.

In the winter, Dan and I bought:

Tile – $44.55 (on super duper clearance at Lowe’s)
Faucet – $55.24
Toilet – $99.99
Vanity – $64.99
Light fixutre – $109.00
Grout – $17.39
Ceiling panels – $57.98
Door handle – $29.99
TOTAL – $479.13

Materials purchased by Simon – $1,005.99
Labour for Simon – $587.59

GRAND TOTAL – $2,072.71

I don’t think that’s too shabby at all. I also know some of that labour cost is for little things done in the workout room, as Simon has been working on both projects at the same time. I also know there’s a good chunk of labour cost Simon didn’t charge us for because the project took so long, with even longer stretches of no work being done at all while he was busy at work. That’s straight up not fair, and I plan on cutting Simon a cheque for another chunk of money to cover this. Let’s call that another $400, so the grand total for our simple bathroom is $2,472.71. Add to that the little touches we added yesterday (soap dish $20, wall hook $30, mirror $15, garbage can $20, toilet paper holder $40, artwork print $6, frame $10 = $141) and the GRAND grand total is $2,613.71.

And let’s also appreciate how far we’ve come.

Here’s the future bathroom on the day we toured the house before closing, complete with the previous owners’ stuff:

The beginningWe had flooding, and tore everything out of that little corner:

Oscar, photo-bomber
We marked out walls for our little room-to-be, and Simon did all sorts of fixing work in that area:

Totally a bathroomFuture bathroomBathroom!We replaced the window (and almost all of the basement windows, actually):

Window install in progress
The last few months saw a slow down in the rate of work, but it all got done:

Drywall, baby!Entrance to bathroomAwkward plumbing situationApril 6 update Tile!Cutting around all the weirdo anglesDuct work coming alongWe have toilet!And this is what comes next – the rest of the workout room will start looking more like a finished space soon:

August 16 updateOne more time, just for kicks:

Bathroom: done.

Those final finishing touches I mentioned are:
-add quarter round to the baseboards and paint them
-paint the door in semi-gloss white and add a stenciled design
-make simple curtains for the window

See? Nothing critical. The room is lovely the way it is.


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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